05 April 2007

1576) A Shameful Liar: Taner Akcam : “Village Idiot” of Genocideland

The aptly nicknamed “village idiot” of Genocideland, Taner Akcam, can’t leave well enough alone. Lately, he has engaged in a campaign of articles hoping to demonstrate that the heroic human rights champion (the role Akcam enjoys casting himself in; certainly, that is much more impressive than being perceived as the paid, propagandistic sell-out that he really is) is being picked on by the “nationalistic” and “fascist” Turks, a description that he and his fellow sociologist pal, Fatma Muge Gocek, . . prefer to label generally liberal Turkish-Americans — serving to demonstrate that these opportunist Turkish “scholars” are not only anti-historians, but make mediocre sociologists as well.

In the final analysis, it is not one’s ethnicity or who pays one’s bills, but the quality of one’s research that matters. Naturally, because the historical argument for the “Armenian Genocide” is so pathetically weak, the familiar Dashnak “end-justifies-the-means” tactic is quick to follow, and that is to jump on the messenger instead of focusing on the message. Taner Akcam has dutifully gained expertise in the art of the ad hominem.

This analysis will largely leave historical facts aside, and concentrate instead on Taner Akcam, the man. Since he has chosen to get so personal, it’s time to give him a taste of his own medicine. This medicine will leave out one integral Akcam ingredient: dishonesty. Taner Akcam’s perpetual penchant for puking prevarifications will be demonstrated, through the actual facts.

Taner Akcam has written a 2006 book entitled, "A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility." As we can see from its Library of Congress (LoC) listing, the Turkish title is “Insan haklari ve Ermeni sorunu." ("Human Rights and the Armenian Question.") This was a 1999 book that was actually translated (by Paul Bessemer, as the LoC tells us); in other words, "A Shameful Act” is not a new work. (Some alterations must have certainly been made, but it is basically the same book.)

Vahakn Dadrian

Moreover, "A Shameful Act” is almost entirely based on Vahakn Dadrian’s obsessive, weasel research, which Taner Akcam has practically copy-pasted. Ignorant reviewers from The New Yorker may praise it, Robert Fisk may call it “magnificent,” and Orhan Pamuk may call it a “definitive account,” along with “brilliant,” but the fact is, Taner Akcam is a fraud. Taner Akcam is not an original researcher; practically speaking, for example, he has no knowledge of Ottoman. Akcam has relied almost completely on the dirt Dadrian has dug up.

Yes, we won’t be concentrating on historical facts with this page, but how much fun would it be without allowing for at least a few examples? (Based on the wonderful research of reader Erman.)

Regarding "A Shameful Act” :

1) Falih Rifki Atay, a special secretary of Talat, is allowed to libel Talat Pasha with the conclusion that Talat “considers neither lie, nor cruelty an immorality.” What Falih Rifki was actually referring to with that line was not Talat Pasha, but “Oriental Ethics”; he wrote Oriental Ethics had “no tolerance to the corruption which belongs to special and personal acts of disgrace and interests,” followed up with the above shortcoming, and tied in Talat Pasha by concluding Talat was also an oriental. Taner Akcam bypasses these nuances, and allows his reader to think Falih Rifki made a direct accusation of Talat Pasha.

2) In order to explain all the many Armenian-protective orders from the CUP government that pulverizes genocidal theory, unscrupulous Armenian “scholars” as Dadrian have come up with a “two track system.” (In other words, the good telegrams were just for show during desperate wartime, since the CUP leaders were feverishly covering their tracks in order to fool future historians, and the real orders, of which not a single one has been found, were secret.) Dadrian’s evidence, which Akcam repeats, is that according to Falih Rifki Atay, it was a usual process of Talat to cancel official telegrams written earlier by a second ciphered order. The example cited, however, is not an official telegram reflecting government policy, but a letter of recommendation regarding a job applicant. Talat asks Falih Rifki to cancel the letter of recommendation sent to an Izmit official, via a telegram instructing the official to disregard the previous letter of recommendation. Even the Incredible Hulk would have found this “evidence” as quite a leap.

3) Dadrian cites (and Akcam repeats) Cemal Kutay's interviews with Special Organization (S.O.) man Esref Kuscubasi in order to demonstrate Talat secretly was in charge of extermination. Kuscubasi had said "The cabinet and the parliament were not informed about the activities of Teskilat-i Mahsusa (S.O.)," referring to the secret activities of the intelligence organization. But there is no mention of Armenians. Ironically, Kuscubasi says afterwards: "I remember even Talat Pasha in a half serious-half joking manner, asked me, ‘Esref Bey is there any news about your government [referring to the S.O.] that you could share with us?’ What were these activities that were so secret even to make a ‘ministry of interior’ [Talat] to complain about not being informed about it?" In other words, here is an organization allegedly carrying out a policy of extermination, organized and supervised secretly by Talat Pasha. Yet even the supposed organizer of this alleged policy is not informed about his own “genocide,” and even complains about that.

4) Akcam cites the memoirs of Huseyin Kazim (a.k.a. Kasim) Bey, known to help and feed Armenians but faced with difficulties from the authorities, and we are told that the number of victims assassinated by the Government, in Lebanon alone, was at least 200,000. Yet Huseyin Kazim Bey was not talking about the Armenians, or at least not only the Armenians. The corrupt local officials forced the farmers to sell their goods (such as cotton) at low rates, so that the officials could turn a profit. Many of the poor became miserable, and “at least 150 -200 thousands people fell victim to the evil designs by Government." So Akcam not only upped the figure, and not only tried to turn a local situation into a central government-controlled policy, but he tried to convert these goings-on affecting everyone to a genocidal policy against the Armenians. (A German consul’s May 30, 1916 report informs Kazim Bey did think of the Armenians’ trek into Mesopotamia as an extermination effort; “The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide,” Lewy, 2005, p. 219.)

5) Akcam also serves his familiar role as wagging tail to Dadrian’s dog by repeating Dadrian’s notorious Halil Bey assertion that 300,000 Armenians had been killed, covered in detail on TAT where Vahakn Dadrian was busted.

6) There is then the famous quotation of Talat’s, that the “Armenian Question no longer exists,” which Dadrian, and now Akcam, translate into meaning that so many Armenians have been exterminated, they no longer pose a problem. This quote is from German Ambassador Hohenlohe’s dispatch to Berlin, presented as dated on 31 August 1915 (which was the date of the third "telegraphic order" Talat provided him with); yet Hohenlohe's meaning was very different in his Sept. 4 dispatch, as recorded by the Armenian genocide-batty web site, Wolfgang & Sigrid Gust's armenocide.de.

On the 2nd of this month, Talaat Bey gave me the German translation of various telegraphic orders on the persecution of the Armenians which he sent to the provincial authorities concerned, copies of which are enclosed. With these, he wished to deliver proof that the central government is seriously attempting to end the outrages, which have taken place against the Armenians in the heart of the country and to see to it that those who have been deported receive provisions during transport. A few days earlier, in reference to this, Talaat Bey said to me, "La question arménienne n'existe plus." ("The Armenian question no longer exists.")

What can possess those such as Vahakn Dadrian and Taner Akcam to provide the kind of twisted evidence from sources which conveyed the opposite of what Dadrian/Akcam is trying to prove?

Even the title of Taner Akcam’s book is steeped in deception. He is telling us Mustafa Kemal Ataturk implicated the Ottoman CUP leaders in the so-called Armenian genocide, by calling it a “Shameful Act.” Here is the translation for the real Ataturk quote, from his April 24, 1920 speech to the Grand National Assembly:

"I would not like to talk about the starting phases of the World War and of course it is not the shameful (inappropriate) events (acts) of the past that the Entente Powers are talking about now." (Thanks to Gokalp.)

“Fazahat” is an old Turkish word that Ataturk used, and can be tricky, meaning something that causes shame and/or inappropriate acts. Whatever Ataturk was referring to as “shameful” or “inappropriate” is open to conjecture, but the above is by no means an admission for “genocide.” In his speeches as well as writings (and we’re not talking about fake articles, such as the 1926 Los Angeles Herald Examiner one championed by Dadrian and company), Ataturk has never conveyed such an idea; if anything, he paid note to the massacres committed by the Armenians upon the Muslims and others. To Admiral Bristol, Ataturk stated that "the hands of the Turkish nation are especially/totally clean.”

Akcam is so shameless, he actually altered an episode from the past where his credibility earned a rare thumb’s up. In his 1992 book (Akcam says 1991; ciaonet.org says 1993), "Turk Ulusal Kimligi ve Ermeni Meselesi” (“Turkish National Identity and the Armenian Question”), Akcam questioned the validity of the Andonian forgeries. (This is the book, by the way, that was published in such small numbers, that it made it to some five reprints through the years [the fifth edition was released in 2001]; as a result, Akcam likes to give the impression that this was some sort of a best-seller, as he did in a 2005 radio interview. Akcam was green back in 1992, and was not yet familiar with all the works of his master, Vahakn Dadrian; it’s a sure bet he had not yet come across Dadrian’s pathetic attempt to validate the forgeries of Aram Andonian, that TAT readers have come to know as “Vahakn Dadrian’s Greatest Embarrassment.” Now, in his 1999/2006 book, Akcam has stepped in line as a good propagandistic soldier, and has reversed himself.

(As this page goes to print, I have been informed Akcam did cite the aforementioned Dadrian article in his 1992 book. How peculiar! The mystery as to why Akcam changed tracks about Andonian is one that, at this point, remains to be solved.)

He tells us, for example, that the Andonian material uses the same sentences and phrases as letters used in the 1919-20 kangaroo courts-martial, but the reality is, at best, some may be termed similar, but certainly not the same. Moreover, Akcam is such a knucklehead, he contradicts himself. On p. 266, he claims that the Ittihadists (the CUP) used the Ministry of Interior cipher codes in their telegrams, when communicating with the provincial authorities about the Armenian massacres. Yet one of the giveaways of forgery is that Andonian did not know these codes, and made up his own.

Akcam Gets Personal
Akcam decided to “get personal” in two essays, one published in Turkey’s Radikal (“Sistematiklesen Saldiri” [Systematic Attack], March 4, 2007), and the second in the hopelessly pro-Armenian web site, ZNet, entitled “A Shameful Campaign” (March 17, 2007).

I don’t follow the Turkish press, and a reader brought the Radikal article to my attention. Their web site allows for the posting of feedback, and since Akcam made nasty claims about the TAT site, I wrote a ditty regarding where Akcam had gone wrong. It was rejected. Since Radikal allows Akcam to write articles for them, already we know Radikal’s priority is not focused on the truth; but the fact that they would disallow a small counter-view seemed unusually defensive, and served as an eye-opener. I know nothing about this publication other than its being an ultra-left-wing nest, and my own healthy “anti-establishment” side kept my "knee-jerk" condemnation of them in check. Regardless of one’s political views, if an organization purposely suppresses the truth, or even the alleged truth that one contributes after being attacked, then one must be very suspicious about the integrity of such an organization. (Particularly if the business of the organization is journalism.)

I asked a knowledgeable friend in Turkey to learn more about Radikal, and she reported that Turkey’s Armenian sympathizers are from the ultra left of the sixties-seventies. They call themselves the 'generation of 68,' reflecting the admission year to the Middle East Technical University. (Which Akcam attended, as well, and apparently dropped out of.) This was the generation that was oppressed by the army interventions; the leftists’ goal was to achieve a federation in the 1970s for the Kurds, Assyrians, the Churches, etc. — but mainly the Kurds. Some were not aware that they were being used by the separatists, and today still cannot absorb that their ideology is no longer in fashion.

They were revitalized as a result of Turkey’s March 1 'No vote' to America, and it does not take much for them to begin their anti-imperialist tirade. The newspaper Radikal is left wing, well meaning, but composed of anti-army people. They grew up believing that they will become world citizens. The Radikal group can easily become manipulated by the anti-Turkish group, because they believe anything Turkish should be suppressed, for fear of losing their world citizenry status.

In other words, their great fear is of coming across as racist, not unlike the liberal crowd dominating the human rights arena, and the genocide industry. In actuality, they are racists deep down — racist in the sense of siding with all races except Turkish. The Radikal group prefers to underline the message, "Us Turks are good at nothing.”

We’ll focus mostly on Akcam’s English-language article, but let’s touch on a few points from his Radikal rant.

As in the English-language ZNet article, Akcam gripes about being held in Montreal for nearly five hours on February 16, 2007 because the Canadian authorities received word about Akcam’s being a terrorist. He protests what they have heard is propaganda, compares himself to the assassinated Hrant Dink (in the sense that Akcam may similarly be a marked man by fanatical Turks), and explains his imprisonment in the years 1976-77, and his subsequent asylum in Germany. (His biography from the announcement for a March 14 Harvard University appearance informs us that “Amnesty International adopted him as one of their first prisoners of conscience.”)

He then writes about the campaign waged against him, picking up steam particularly after the release of his "Shameful" book in November 2006.

We know Vahakn Dadrian is an egomaniac, but let’s hope Mr. Akcam does not make a practice of following his role model to that extent. Nobody is formulating plans and strategies to “get” small potatoes as the Armenian pawn, Taner Akcam; the reason why Akcam is feeling extra heat is because Akcam is on an aggressive book tour, planned and sponsored by his Armenian benefactors. When he goes around spreading his defamatory lies and propaganda, naturally there will be those who are going to rain on his charade. If he’s going to be unusually active in the public eye, so too will his opposition. Very typically “Armenian” of Taner Akcam to make it seem like there are organized forces after his hide, when in actuality those who squawk are doing so independently. In other words, as with Armenian aggression, there is only Turkish REACTION to Akcam’s underhanded ACTION. Like the Armenians, it’s fitting that Akcam will boo-hoo that his innocent self is being picked on.

He writes that the “Assembly of Turkish American Association-ATAA," the Turkish Forum and "Tallarmeniantale" (right here) are partners, they are working together, they operate electronic e-mail groups, and are the organizers behind this campaign.

Let's correct Taner Akcam on this point. TAT is not a "partner" with anyone, and has no affiliation with the Turkish groups, nor is there a TAT mailing list. While I don't know the inner workings of the others, I'd doubt very much they are working in tandem on anything, given the disorganization Turks are very good at. To give an example, over a year ago, I called ATAA to see if I could get the name of the writer behind "An Unjust Trial" (after realizing a big mistake that I had relied upon), and the person I spoke with — who was fairly high up in ATAA's organization — had no idea about TAT, nor about the Armenian issue. (He promised to see if he could find out the writer's name and contact information, and get back. He did not.) In other words, I didn't get the idea ATAA was actively involved in combating Armenian attacks, and I can't see them planning grand strategies against anyone, particularly a village idiot like Taner Akcam. He ought to be ashamed for making such brazen statements, and passing them off as factual.

As for the Turkish Forum, my "association" with them boils down to the handful of my communications that they have published, through the submission of others (at TAT's outset I sent a few relevant communications I had written, the Turkish Forum ignored them, and I don't bother sending anything anymore), such as at least one open letter written to Taner Akcam (coming up).

Getting back to his Radikal article, Akcam writes about a “nationalist, fascist” group of 15-20 who confronted him after his New York University appearance in November 2006; at the book signing stage, they cursed him, called him a “communist-terrorist,” and when the time came for Akcam to leave, “üstüme saldirmak istediler"; that is, they wanted to attack him.

What does that mean? Did they come up to his face and make threatening gestures? It's doubtful that there would have been the kind of tight security to prevent more than a dozen angry people from lunging at Taner Akcam, if they were of the mind to do so. Akcam is trying to make it seem like these "fascists" were out of their minds.

Let's move on to Akcam's ZNet article, covering much the same ground. We can better zero in on his claims, since “A Shameful Campaign” is in English.

Akcam blames his biography in Wikipedia with his opening statement, as to how the Canadians got wind to get their man. This is most ironic, because Wikipedia is a totally unreliable source when it comes to controversial topics. Anyone from the public can write in, and since Wikipedia has no paid staff to speak of (to my knowledge), their system of checks and balances relies on the “honor system.” When a gang of dishonorable pro-Armenians took over in Al Capone style, with the tenacity and obsession they are known for, they converted Wikipedia to a complete venue for Armenian propaganda.

Months ago, I inadvertently (inadvertently, because since I learned of how fallible Wikipedia can be as a source of reliable information, I avoid it at all costs) came upon the page for Prof. Justin McCarthy. The pro-Armenians’ thrust was to make McCarthy out to be an unscrupulous agent of the Turkish government. As an experiment, I signed up for an account, and added a few innocent lines. For example, to describe his educational background, the Armenians had stated McCarthy had received an award from a Turkish university, to show how much in league he is with the Turks. (Not that receiving an award demonstrates any such thing, but we know the idea in this prejudiced world is that anything connected with Turkey or the Turks must be regarded as “evil.”) I added that McCarthy in fact received his degree from UCLA. The next day, when I checked, my contribution had been reverted back. And this concerned one of the “lesser” Armenian-related pages; imagine how carefully these fanatics must be monitoring the main pages dealing with their obsession.

So if someone managed to stick in the less desirable aspects of Akcam’s shady past, how very ironic that this Armenian propaganda-touting web site would have proved to be Akcam’s undoing.

After explaining his detention at Montreal’s airport, on his way to a talk co-sponsored by The Zoryan Institute and the Armenian Students’ Associations of Montreal, Akcam wrote:

The immigration officer returned with a strange request: could I help him figure out why I was being detained? You’re the one detaining me, I was tempted to say. If you don’t know the reason, how do you expect me to know? You tell me. It was like a scene from Atom Egoyan’s Ararat. I knew better than to challenge him, giving the impression that I had something to hide.

It sounds like Akcam could thank his law-breaking past, helping him to savvily deal with officers of the law.

“I’m a historian,” I explained. “I work on the subject of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.”

Why does Taner Akcam lie about his occupation? (That is a rhetorical question.) His degree was in sociology. If he is trying to say that he is an amateur historian, even there he can’t hope to qualify, since the duty of a historian is to consider every aspect of an issue, to arrive at a dispassionate conclusion. Akcam begins with the conclusion first, and points to any sneaky means to support that conclusion. Akcam is a propagandist, or as anti-historian as a real “historian” can get.

“There’s a very heavy campaign being waged by extreme nationalist and fascist forces in Turkey against those individuals who are critical of the events that occurred in 1915. Hrant Dink was killed because of it.”

We don’t know yet why Hrant Dink was killed. Years ago, The eastern bloc apparently backed a Turkish escaped convict to shoot the Pope, in hopes of weakening Turkey’s status in the West's mostly Christian NATO. (Anti-Turkish forces are well versed in recruiting Turkish escaped convicts in an effort to bring harm to the Turkish nation.) There are many forces hoping to destabilize Turkey, and it has yet to be ascertained who motivated the ignorant youth to go off on his shooting spree. This murderous kid claims his first target was the Armenian Patriarch, who is much more moderate than was Hrant Dink. If some “nationalistic” or “fascist” force targeted Dink because of what Dink represented, they were obviously even more looney than we would like to think, since Hrant Dink was a moderate in his own right. What kind of “nationalist” would support the assassination of a figure that would bring harm to their nation, in the eyes of the world? (Naturally, fanatical killers don't always operate rationally, and the above is not to suggest the guilty parties were not the ultra right-wing nuts. At the point of this writing, we don't yet know who really directed Hrant Dink's murder.)

“The lives of people like me are in danger because of it. Orhan Pamuk, Turkey’s Nobel Laureate, couldn’t tolerate the attacks against him and had to leave the country. Many intellectuals in Turkey are now living under police protection.” The officer took notes.

Is that why Orhan Pamuk left the country, because he was constantly being harassed (like Prof. Stanford Shaw at UCLA, being put through the wringer by Richard Hovannisian’s thugs), or in fear for his life? Or is it because once he joined the anti-Turkish forces trail-blazed by Taner Akcam, opportunities opened up to him, and there was a more rewarding life and career awaiting him outside the country? How absolutely despicable of Taner Akcam to portray his “fascist” country of gunning for anyone critical of Turkey, when Hrant Dink is so far the first (and let’s hope last) example of such a murderous episode. (The only other Armenian-Turk I'm aware of who lost his life over the "genocide" issue was Artin Penik, in 1982.) When looney Armenians were murdering innocent Turkish diplomats, their families and others during the 1970s and 1980s, it’s remarkable not a single Turk took out his frustrations on an innocent Armenian-Turk. (In part of the same time period, Iranian-Americans were at times being violently targeted by Americans, in blind rage against the "hostage crisis" in Iran.) The age-old tolerance of the Turkish character has also been demonstrated by leaving alone those who have been blackening the image of Turkey and the Turks all of these years, committing murder in the form of “Rufmord.” And here Taner Akcam is presenting himself as a hero, and that his evil country (and his evil country’s mindless “nationalistic” and “fascist” citizens) are out to possibly kill this poor, innocent hero. Absolutely, absolutely deplorable.

Let us review what “nationalist” means, in the worst sense of the word. A nationalist is one who agrees with whatever his or her country is doing, right or wrong. Turkish-Americans who oppose Akcam are usually liberal-minded, and are anything but “nationalist.” (Most are wrapped up in their lives, and frankly don't give two beans for Turkey. I'm beginning to believe that is the same for most Turks in Turkey, too.) The government of Turkey has no hold on Turkish people who have moved far away from the influence of the Turkish government. If the word “nationalism” is to be used to describe these Turkish-Americans, it is in the best sense of the word: those who hope to preserve the nation, in the face of unwarranted attacks, and those who would like nothing better than to split the nation apart. Taner Akcam, like his friends Fatma Muge Gocek and Elif Shafak, have no qualms about supporting an enemy of Turkey, such as Richard Hovannisian, who stated in the same conference (of Nov. 6, 2005, in which his three Turkish stooges appeared) that the next time the topic would include “the issues of reparations and territorial demands from Turkey." (This followed Taner Akcam’s making his Armenian audience giddy by talking about Turkey’s "paying compensation and making restitution.")

“In connection with these attacks there has been a serious campaign against me in the U.S.,” I went on. “I know that the groups running this campaign are given directives and are controlled by the Turkish diplomats. They spread propaganda stating that I am a member of a terrorist organization. Some rumors to that effect must have reached you.” (Emphasis Holdwater's.)

Since Akcam named the TAT site as one of these groups running the campaign against him, the question must be asked: how does our Shameful Liar know if the Turkish diplomats are giving TAT directives or are controlling TAT? Did some Turkish diplomats confess to Taner Akcam? If they did, they would not have been truthful, because there is not a single Turkish diplomat who knows anything more about the TAT site than anyone with access to the Internet would know.

Akcam's idea of the "Turkish government"

The picture that Taner Akcam is presenting is totally erroneous and deceptive; it’s his job to present the Turkish government as an insidious organization, such as SPECTRE from the James Bond movies, when the reality is, the Turkish government is at a loss to deal with the anti-Turkish forces. Turkish diplomats are often the last stop in dealing with assaults against Turkey and Turkish honor, but the fact is most are ill-equipped to handle these well-organized forces. The usual result is that the diplomats wind up doing nothing, which is why (what Edward Tashji called) the "hate merchants” get away with so much of their poison. The true picture is the total reverse of what Akcam is painting.

“Propaganda” is the Turks’ worst suit. Note that what is referred to as “Turkish propaganda,” such as the contents of the TAT site, is rooted in factual history, often derived from the same Turk-despising Western and Armenian sources Akcam and Dadrian rely upon. The reality is that the culturally silent Turks generally don’t know how to defend themselves. They have a bad reputation, because the snakes like Akcam and Dadrian have been allowed to exclusively tell the history of the Turks in the already prejudiced West, and these snakes can get away with making further awful insinuations, that since Turks are so wicked, of course they would be behind wicked campaigns to target innocent heroes such as Taner Akcam. It’s truly appalling.

“For your information, in 1976, while I was a master’s degree student and teaching assistant at Middle East Technical University, I was arrested for articles I had written in a journal and sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison. I later escaped to Germany, where I became a citizen. The Turkish criminal statute that was the basis for my prosecution, together with similar laws, was repealed in 1991. I travel to Turkey freely now and went there most recently for Hrant Dink’s funeral.”

I suppose Akcam must be a careful TAT reader, as he has been criticized several times in these pages for exaggerating his prison sentence, at ten years; now he has become almost annoyingly exact, at least in the written version of the story (it's a good bet Akcam said "ten years" to the Canadian, too. By the way, Mustafa Artun — the writer Akcam will be criticizing — has been my source for the accurate sentence, and note that Artun has already demonstrated greater reliability than Akcam, about Akcam.) And just like his “genocide history,” will you look at the pertinent information this “human rights” champion is deliberately leaving out: Aside from destabilizing the nation during a critical period in Turkey (with the Soviets behind the scenes, helping the left to violently lock horns with the right), one reason for Akcam’s arrest was indeed Akcam’s communist articles. Another reason was that Akcam was accused of murder. So says the very bunch Akcam was associated with, in an article that made sure to defend Akcam to the hilt. Lastly, if the Turkish “nationalists” and “fascists” are out for Akcam’s hide, how could he even consider traveling to Turkey “freely”? Is he out of his mind? Or could it be possible what he is telling us is not really the truth?

Even more interesting for me is how he is terrified of this huge Turkish Government conspiracy whereby the Turkish Diplomats are arranging and organising this attack on his person, and he states to the Canadian Customs official he is similar to Hrant Dink and Orhan Pamuk, therefore his life is in danger, and yet he goes to Turkey quite often and in fact to Hrant Dinks funeral so if the Turkish Government no longer consider him a dangerous murderer or terrorist why should the Canadian is the point he is making. Further he also isn't that scared of going back to Turkey even though the Turkish Government is out to get him and all of Turkes's supporters want to kill him, according to Akcam, "I travel to Turkey freely now and went there most recently for Hrant Dinks funeral."

I don't know about you guys but if I thought any Government wanted me dead or shut up etc etc I certainly would not be going into that Government's strong hold or territory. Not only does he say he has the Turkish Government on his back but also all those fascist Turks and yet, he travels to Turkey freely now and as recently as Hrant Dinks funeral ???? Does it make sense to you, his lost me I just don't understand. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.


One thing I would advise Mr Akcam is, if there is any formal defamation of his character by any entity he should sue.

I would really love to see that Court Case and the details that flow from there.


(The full blog entry of March 26, 2007 may be read at turkishviewpoint.blogspot.com/2007/03/shameful-act-by-taner-akcam.html)

The officer finished his notes. “I’m sorry, but I have to make some more phone calls,” he said, and left. My cell phone rang again. It was McGill legal scholar Payam Akhavan, an authority on human rights and genocide, who was to have introduced my lecture. Apologizing for my situation, Prof. Akhavan let me know that he’d contacted the offices of Canadian Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity Jason Kenney. Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada, also called to confirm that he too had been in touch with Secretary Kenney’s office. I was going to be released.

It helps to have friends in high places, doesn’t it? Let’s hold that thought.

For the last year — most recently on Christmas Eve, 2006 — my Wikipedia biography had been persistently vandalized by anonymous “contributors” intent on labeling me as a terrorist. The same allegations had been repeatedly scrawled, like gangland graffiti, as “customer reviews” of A Shameful Act and my other books at www.Amazon.com.

And this is the key point we will be focusing on, ladies and gentlemen, since Taner Akcam has chosen to harp about it. Was he, in fact, a “terrorist”? He is making it sound, of course, as though he was simply a human rights champion, getting unjustly jailed for simply writing articles in a Stalinist state, and for being designated a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International. But if he was not all that innocent, the Wikipedia attempts to correct the record would hardly be in the category of vandalism; particularly since the Armenian and Turkish related pages at Wikipedia have already been vandalized in a major way. Thankfully, the reviews at Amazon are a little more democratic (Although still not safe for those with the contra-genocide perspective; years ago, Amazon mysteriously removed Holdwater’s review for “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story,” after it had been in place for a long time), and maybe — just maybe — the “gangland graffiti” on Akcam's latest could stand further additions. (Graffiti may be considered works of art in certain circles.)

It was unlikely, to say the least, that a Canadian immigration officer found out that I was coming to Montreal, took the sole initiative to research my identity on the Internet, discovered the archived Christmas Eve version of my Wikipedia biography, printed it out seven weeks later on February 16, and showed it to me—voila!—as a result.

When a change is made at Wikipedia, it becomes a matter of record, even when not allowed to stand. Not that it’s a surprise, but what Akcam is telling us is that the “terrorist” references must have been done away with immediately by the pro-Armenian Cosa Nostra at Wikipedia, and the only trace of the “Christmas Eve version” may be found, buried deep within Wikipedia's archives. The flaw in Akcam’s description is that — unless this version was copied word for word — the Canadian authorities could have easily found references to Akcam’s terrorist status elsewhere. Even Akcam will go on to write that “my name in close proximity to the English word ‘terrorist’ turns up in well over 10,000 web pages.”

...[T]wo Turkish-American websites hostile to my work—the 500-page Tall Armenian Tale and the 19,000-member Turkish Forum listserv—had been hinting for months that my “terrorist” activities ought to be of interest to American immigration authorities. It seemed far more likely that one or more individuals had seized the opportunity to denounce me to the Canadians.

The reader can tune in to TAT’s “Taner Akcam” section, or run a search for our favorite “prisoner of conscience,” and see — especially in the articles put up in what he is suggesting were recent months, the dates for which may be determined in the “Cumulative” section — where this “hinting” took place. The truth is that none exists. I am familiar with a personal letter an angry Turkish-American wrote directly to Taner Akcam, cc’d to a select group, claiming that he had alerted authorities such as the FBI (if I remember correctly), and perhaps this was reproduced in the Turkish Forum. I recall my ambivalent feelings when I read that letter, as much of a villain as Taner Akcam may be.

Isn’t it horrible that Taner Akcam feels free to make statements that can’t be supported by the facts? He is a very unconscientious “prisoner of conscience.”

But since Akcam brought up this “terrorist” bugaboo, let’s explore further. I see I had written in my “Correspondence with Taner Akcam” (which I am now very happy to have put up; my "private" communications rarely make it to this site), specifically the “Open Letter Number Two” from April 16, 2004:

A devoted Turkish-American recently wondered how you could have entered this country, what with your indulgences in Marxist ideology, your prison conviction and working against American interests in the past. Did you enter with Armenian help? The Armenians have a knack for getting people with spotty records past American immigration officials. I’m amazed at how the mass murdering Armenian hero Drastamat “Dro” Kanayan was somehow snuck in, American regulations against former Nazis notwithstanding. Dro comfortably lived out the rest of his years in the USA, despite what he did to innocent Turkish women and children circa WWI, and the Jews in World Wars I and II.

Not long ago, a friend of mine who visited from overseas showed the U.S. customs form she was required to fill out. Did you know that visitors to America are — today — actually still asked if they are associated with Nazis? Isn’t that incredible? And think how much more particular the U.S. authorities would be with people actually seeking to live in the USA. So how did Akcam get through? He is [1] A “communist,” [2] an escaped convict, and [3] an “enemy of America.” In the days of his impassioned youth, America was Akcam’s imperialistic Great Satan.

I have an as yet unsubstantiated report that one of the terrorist groups Akcam used to belong to was accused of abducting an American serviceman from NATO. This is what caused the Turkish police to begin to keep an eye on Taner Akcam in the first place. I’m still checking on whether this “hearsay” is true, but if so, it goes to show how anti-American Akcam was. In the dreaded Mustafa Artun article, Akcam was quoted from a 1989 interview (where he used his second most favorite word, "shame"!): "I consider saying 'yes' to NATO and the European Union the biggest shame for a revolutionary. I am against the West since I consider it an imperialist power...and because I view the technology, culture, and politics of the West dangerous for all mankind."

Akcam had three strikes against him, any one of which could have rejected an average person from entry, yet Akcam was still able to gain a permanent residence in the USA as a “visiting scholar” (which soon became, mysteriously, “visiting professor”), the limit for which is normally three years. How could that be possible?

Remember when I asked you to “hold that thought” earlier? The answer must be: it helps to have friends in high places. And the participants in the Armenian genocide industry are very powerful, and terribly influential. (For example, Dr. Dennis Papazian, who claims credit for bringing Akcam into the United States, could have made a phone call to his pal, Set Momjian, the wealthy friend of several U.S. presidents. A few other phone calls later, Akcam would have been so in, Errol Flynn would have been envious.)

Side Note on "301":

In a March 31, 2007 article entitled "Taner Akcam found innocent," PanARMENIAN.Net reported: "The Sisli Office of the Public Prosecutor adjudicated that historian Taner Akcam who in his article, published in the Agos journal, wrote the sentence 'I believe that what happened between 1915 and 1917 was holocaust,' was innocent." The reason:

"The Office of the Public Prosecutor stated that using the word ‘holocaust’ is within the lines of freedom of speech and does not contain an expression of insult against Turkey. "

Then talking about the Armenian "genocide" does not get one hurled in jail in Turkey, as the propagandists still keep telling us, after all! This should have been obvious, otherwise Akcam could not have had books published in Turkey on the subject, as early as back in 1992.

The first salvo in this campaign came in response to the English translation of my essay, “The Genocide of the Armenians and the Silence of the Turks.” In a sensational March 19, 2001, commentary from the ATAA Turkish Times (“From Terrorism to Armenian Propagandist: The Taner Akçam Story”), one Mustafa Artun introduced me to Turkish-Americans as a mastermind of terrorist violence, including the assassinations of American and NATO military personnel.

Sadly, the Mustafa Artun article (here is the link again) still remains as the only English-language research exposing Akcam’s shady past. Now what is Taner Akcam telling us? That Artun simply made up the provided details? For example, Artun wrote, “DEV-YOL's bloody terrorist activities, which claimed hundreds of fatalities and a large number of serious injuries, included assassinations, armed attacks, bombings, and bank robberies.” Is that true, or isn’t it? If it isn’t, Akcam ought to heed the advice I gave him in my “Open Letter Number Three” (May 11, 2004), referring to his sponsorship by the Armenians:

You should be similarly concerned with your own honor... perhaps you should consider providing the evidence to prove your innocence. Yes, in a fair world, the burden of proof should lie with those who think there is something very fishy about you... but as those who are convinced there was no Armenian "Genocide" and are in the uncomfortable position of constantly responding to the mindless voices of hysteria fully know, the world can be anything but fair.

Even though Akcam has no qualms about convicting his own people and nation with pure hearsay (as well as distortions, through his "Dadrian history"), we wouldn’t want him to be convicted by the same. Such would be unethical, and plain wrong, and would make us no better than the extremist Armenians and their supporters. One would think Turkish journalists would have uncovered more dirty details about Taner Akcam’s terrorist past, given his hostility to Turkish interests... but Turks generally don’t care about these matters. Frankly, I’m very grateful for Mustafa Artun, whomever he is, for having taken the trouble to write what appears to be a well researched and truthful article.

By the way, in the article, Artun does not blame Akcam as the mastermind of violence against Americans and NATO personnel. Regarding these particular targets, Artun blamed the THKP-C, the first terrorist group Akcam joined, where Akcam evidently did not play a key role, as he was only learning the bloody terror trade. Artun tells us Akcam played a key role in DEV-YOL, as the right-hand man of the group’s leader, and that “Akcam was an active participant in the planning of assassinations and armed attacks against the targets chosen by DEV-YOL.” If Akcam can’t get the facts straight from a simple article, how can we ever trust him as a “historian”?

Posted at the ATAA Web site in April 2001 and circulated via Turkish Forum in December 2001 and June 2003—my protests notwithstanding—“The Taner Akçam Story” ended up by March 2004 at Tall Armenian Tale next to a photo of a PKK member, which was captioned as “a younger Taner Akçam, from www.PKK.org” Three years later, the photo has been updated, but Artun’s commentary remains, a frequently cited resource for copy-pasters.

What were the grounds for his protests; that the claims of the Artun article were untrue? If they are untrue, Taner Akcam not only has the right, but the duty to preserve his honor. At the very least, he could write an article of his own, picking apart the Artun claims in detail. Why hasn’t he done so? Why hasn't he come right out and declared, "I am not, nor have I ever been, a terrorist"? (This is the man, remember, who still called for "armed struggle" in the 1980s, after the army intervention in Turkey, as reported by Artun. It's a fact: once one crosses the line to push one's politics through the use of violence, particularly by hurting innocent bystanders, one enters the realm of terror.)

For the record, although Taner Akcam and I were briefly communicating around March 2004, he didn’t lodge any “protests” with me. He only protested — publicly, through his sole post in a Yahoo group that he was persuaded to join by the moderator (which Akcam left in one shake of a stick, after becoming painfully aware of my presence and agonizing questions) — the wrong photograph, which was removed immediately. This is why I am happy to have put up the three letters from 2004 that I had written him; the reader may consult them to corroborate Akcam’s shameful claim. (The link again.)

At the time, Akcam’s handsome mug was nowhere to be found on the Internet. The PKK site’s photo had “Taner Akcam” written nearby, and was utilized here in good faith. I had no idea what Akcam looked like, until Belinda Cooper’s hero-worshipping March 6, 2004 New York Times article ("Turks Breach Wall of Silence on Armenians") appeared. The PKK photo was ditched, and the shot from the Times article replaced it. (Both photos are shown on the Correspondence page, if readers are curious; the explanation accompanying the PKK shot is: “The photo regarded a youthful Taner Akcam that was identified as Taner Akcam from PKK's site (as far as I could determine; the site was in Kurdish, but Akcam's name was next to the photo), and Akcam complained that the photo was not him. The photo was promptly removed. The false photo is shown at right, just to make sure people have this straight.”)

What is Akcam telling his readers? That the photo has been updated “three years later.” I see I brought this episode up directly with him, in “Open Letter Number Three,” where I wrote: “Nevertheless, I did away with that photograph the day I read your letter. My intention is never to falsely represent you, as that is what separates those such as myself from those you have become so warmly chummy with.” In other words, Akcam was informed the photograph he protested had taken a powder, he must have checked in the interim, and the “fact” he is going with is that the photo maliciously remained for three whole years. He can be quite the goat-getter, our Taner Akcam.

As further evidence of my “terrorist” past, Tall Armenian Tale posted a detailed chronology related to incidents of arrest, on dates that even I can’t remember, for leafleting and postering in my student movement days. Whoever provided this information failed to note, however, that people were frequently arrested for such activities even after official permission had been obtained. An entire nine-page section of Tall Armenian Tale is now dedicated to vilifying me and my work, and well over 200 pages of that denialist site mention my name. (Emphasis Holdwater's.)

Is the site “denialist” for denialism’s sake? Is it as though the TAT site is stamping its feet, holding its breath and crying, “No! No, there was no genocide, and that’s that!” (As the genociders often resort to doing, once their deep-rooted beliefs are backed into a corner?) Or is the site actually offering what Taner Akcam considers a four-letter word, FACT after FACT after FACT? Should not the facts be all that matters to a true scholar? Would a real scholar resort to such cheap name calling?

As far as the "vilifying" charge, if criticism is warranted, and if the criticism is based on the truth, then that is a "vilifying" choice of word in itself. Remember: it can't be libel if one's position is truthful. If anybody is vilifying, it's Taner Akcam — by equating his people with Nazis, based on false or twisted history, for propagandistic purposes. Beyond those as myself who are motivated in presenting the truth, it is the duty of those who engage in genuine scholarship for their livelihood to expose the charlatans who pretend to be scholars.

The “detailed chronology” Akcam refers to offers only four measly events or parts, before his imprisonment (and whomever prepared it has disagreed with Artun: here, Akcam’s terrorist group was not DEV YOL but DEV SOL; Abdullah Ocalan, in his own interview that we’ll be getting to in a moment, confirms Akcam’s group as DEV YOL). Of these four measly examples — actually three, since the fourth is only telling us Akcam became the editor of his group’s magazine — not all relate to innocent ”leafleting and postering,” as Akcam claims. In one, he “participated in an act of violence in Malatya, wich resulted in an injury to a taxi cab driver.”

Taner Akcam is implying Mustafa Artun’s claims are untrue, without stating flat out that he was never involved in terror activities. The event mentioned above (regarding the cab driver) does not mean much until we learn what kind of violence took place. If it was a “student demonstration that got out of hand” kind of violence, that would not be terrorism.

On the other hand, Taner Akcam has been caught with many untrue statements, such as getting a ten year rap (as he would casually claim before the ZNet article) for defending the rights of Kurds, human rights champion that he is, and all.

His own “Revolutionary Youth Magazine” (where he served as “publishing general manager”) informs us that Taner Akcam was accused of the murder of Zuhtu Pehlivanli. He was acquitted of that charge.

In his radio interview (the link again), Akcam darted around by explaining, “I was given political asylum (in Germany) in 1978. After some personal tragedies as a result of my political role, I decided to quit politics ... (by) the middle of the 1980s.” (The 1989 interview covered above didn't sound like he had "quit politics.") What form did these “personal tragedies” take? We’re offered bits and pieces; the German police provided Akcam protection, and even offered plastic surgery. Now that’s serious. Who was trying to kill him? The Kurdish terrorist group, the PKK. Why? Akcam explained that “the leader of that organization liquidated ... more than 3,000 of their own members. I was opposed to that also. They wanted to kill me. They couldn’t find me, and so they killed one of my best friends in Hamburg.”

So here Akcam was, being a “hero” again, opposed to the PKK killing their own members. Was that the real reason? It’s highly doubtful. The question is, what was Akcam doing, hooked up with this hideous terror group (once the darling of Europe, and still is in some circles, as possibly Belgium), which Akcam himself compared to “Pol Pot or Stalin or even with Saddam Hussein.” (Hopefully, Taner Akcam the “historian” was not trying to tell us Saddam was “even” worse than Pol Pot or Stalin.)

Akcam was interviewed in the Turkish newspaper Milliyet on January 11, 2002, where he admitted joining (or as he put it, “collaborating” with) the PKK from 1981-1984. That was Akcam’s way of fighting the Turkish Army.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Even if we put aside the inconclusive (and yet still convincing) “terror” activities of Taner Akcam before his imprisonment (in the organizations THKP-C and DEV-YOL), Taner Akcam himself has admitted that he was part of one of the worst terrorist groups around, responsible for the lives of at least 31,000, over ten times the 9/11 casualty, as The Institute for Counter-Terrorism has accepted. Taner Akcam was a bonafide terrorist.

(The source from the following paragraph, in fact, brings up another 1970s group Akcam belonged to, which Artun had missed: ADYOD, evidently a Kurdish organization. Akcam forced his brutal buddies out in 1976 to form a new group, AYOD, because they felt Akcam was too much like John Gotti: “Taner is too much of a showman. He wants to be on the front pages all the time.” Was ADYOD a terrorist group? If Ocalan was the president, we can only assume their interests did not involve poetry and music.)

Perhaps the worst indictment of Akcam’s terrorist status came from Akcam’s one time friend, the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan:

"Taner gave the order for the murder of the people that he claims to have protected. He caused heavy casualties... Taner sent his friends to their death. His personality is dubious."

Surely we must pause before accepting the word of a terrorist at face value, because as the Turk-disliking missionary Cyrus Hamlis wrote (referring to the terrorist Armenian Hunchaks), “Falsehood is, of course, justifiable where murder and arson are.”

This is exactly why we have to be very, very wary of the things coming out of Taner Akcam’s pen, or mouth. He doesn’t need his terrorist background for us to be aware of how easily he bends the truth.

Next came an announcement from Turkish Forum: “For the attention of friends in Minnesota…. Taner Akçam has started working in America…. It is expected that the conferences about so called Genocide will increase in and around Minnesota. Please follow the Armenian (Taner Akçam’s) activities very closely.” My contact information at home and at work was conveniently provided “in case people would like to send their ‘greetings’ to this traitor.” Soon enough, harassing e-mails were sent anonymously to my employer, the University of Minnesota, and to me personally. A profile of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and its director, my colleague Stephen Feinstein, was added to Tall Armenian Tale.

What is a “harassing e-mail”? That would be along the lines of a threatening, or insulting communication. Even the madder Armenians have come to learn that Turks are usually courteous in forums, and it’s a sure bet very few, if any, of these letters carried a seriously uncivilized tone. If Akcam’s “employer” was told of the dubious character of Taner Akcam, that would fall under the category of “reporting the facts,” not under “harassment.”

The Turkish Forum is a forum where a collection of articles appears, for the purpose of distributing information of interest. For example, this very article of Taner Akcam that we are examining appeared in the Turkish Forum. I’m aware of other anti-Turkish articles that have appeared; in other words, the Turkish Forum obviously does not endorse everything that is selected for inclusion. If a Turkish-American, as it sounds in this case, relayed information about Taner Akcam that the Turkish Forum felt would be of interest to its readers, that is a far cry from the Turkish Forum’s having instigated the item. Of course, Taner Akcam is trying to make it sound as though the Turkish Forum is working on an active campaign against Taner Akcam... instead of what really happened, the simple putting-up of another article.

Naturally, Taner Akcam is trying to make it seem as though the TAT site was working in conjunction with the Turkish Forum. The CHGS page was one of the earlier pages of this site, reproducing a letter written to University of Minnesota personnel. One of the two letters featured on this page mentioned Akcam briefly, but the criticism was directed at the utter dishonesty of Stephen Feinstein’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. This particular TAT page cannot be pointed to as an example of a campaign against Taner Akcam, when its thrust has nothing to do with Taner Akcam. Most importantly, I discovered the CHGS’s abominable web site (worse and more hateful than many of the typical sites run by Armenians), through my own research; Akcam did not date when the Turkish Forum item appeared, but it is a near certainty the TAT page debuted well before.

One supposes Taner Akcam’s “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” connection must be that Akcam is so Footloose... with the facts.

And is the University of Minnesota really Taner Akcam’s “employer”? Let’s hold that thought.

Akcam then writes about the Nov. 1, 2006 CUNY event we already got a taste of from the Radikal article. He complains about leaflets where he:

... was labeled as a “former terrorist leader” and a fanatic enemy of America who had organized “attacks against the United States” and was “responsible for the death of American citizens.”

Former terrorist leader? If he played a prominent role in DEV-YOL, as Mustafa Artun wrote, and if DEV-YOL resorted to violence, then he most certainly was a terrorist leader. Even if he wasn’t a leader, we now know for a fact, by his own admission, that he was a former terrorist. Was he “a fanatic enemy of America”? He most certainly was. It would be interesting to dig up his writings from the magazine he used to edit, and compose articles for. If his Soviet-friendly group organized attacks against the perceived enemy, it’s only reasonable to assume American targets would have been among them. That last contention cannot be backed up by the facts at this point, but the circumstantial evidence appears to support it.

A letter written by a “Turkish-American activist” that Akcam will later complain about charged that Akcam belonged to a group that “bombed the limousine of the American ambassador Comer in Ankara in 1969.” Can that be verified? If so, there is an example of his group’s having targeted United States personnel, even if Akcam himself was not involved. As Akcam rose through the ranks, we can assume the ideology of this group did not change much; if it changed, it probably became increasingly militant, as the country sank into near-anarchy.

As soon as I finished my lecture, a pack of some 15 to 20 individuals, who had strategically positioned themselves in small groups throughout the hall, tried to break up the meeting. Brandishing pictures of corpses (either Muslims killed by revenge-seeking Armenians in 1919 or Kurdish victims of Iraqi gas attacks on the town of Halabja in 1988), they loudly demanded to know why I had not lectured on the deaths of “a million Muslims.”

Demanding to know why Akcam is such a shameless partisan does not mean these critics tried to “break up the meeting”; that is what we would call as “part of the meeting.” Now, note the assertion of the Shameful Liar, Taner Akcam; he knows very well the Muslims killed by the Armenians had their start well before 1919. The Armenians killed hundreds of thousands of fellow Ottomans, including Jews and even some Greeks, who did not fit the Armenians’ racial and religious prototype. Mainly because they did not form a majority anywhere, the Armenians’ idea was to clear out the non-Armenians from the eastern Anatolian lands they occupied, with and without their Russian allies, on and off from 1915-1919/1920. (The reason why Armenia today happens to be 98% Armenian-pure is because they succeeded in either killing, or kicking everyone out.) When the Armenians carried out their wide scale extermination campaign, the motivating factor was largely not revenge, but hatred, and a feeling of racial superiority, drummed into the Armenian community for many years from the revolutionists and their missionary allies. Read a firsthand eyewitness account (from a Russian officer) of one of these murderous sprees, and see whether “revenge” could have possibly been the motive.

If we accept for a moment that every person murdered by Armenians was murdered out of “revenge,” does that make the murder of these innocent victims justifiable? Yet Akcam never sheds a tear for the up to 2.7 million “Turks” who were killed, some half-million at the hands of the Armenians (with a little Russian help). In the PBS debate show Akcam appeared in along with partner Peter Balakian, Akcam went far enough to have called the killings of Muslims by Armenians a “legend.” In other words, he tried to get away with the notion that Muslims were not killed at all, out of revenge, or for any other reason. Peculiar, isn’t it, for a pure, 100% “Turkoglu Turk,” as Akcam sometimes likes to call himself?

Shouting and swearing in Turkish and English, they completely disrupted the discussion in the lecture hall and the book-signing session nearby. I was verbally assaulted as a “terrorist-communist” and lashed with the vilest Turkish profanities... The security guards surrounding me had to intervene when I was physically attacked.

Was Akcam a terrorist? Yes. Was Akcam a communist? Yes. If he is called by what he was, what is he complaining about? (Naturally, the idea of this Shameful Liar is to convey to his readers that he was neither a terrorist, nor a communist.)

If Taner Akcam chose the path to join the enemies of the Turks, and to go around helping to ruin the reputation of the Turks, equating his kind with Nazis without pointing to factual evidence, what does he expect? He should be grateful most Turks he runs into are polite with him. When Jane Fonda, Paul Robeson and Charlie Chaplin displayed closeness to their nation’s enemies, their heads were often chewed off by many of their countrymen. They were treated in much less tolerant ways than Taner Akcam has usually been treated by Turkish people.

Did you catch his latest falsehood? In the Radikal article, he told us that these critics “wanted to attack him." Now he is telling us they "physically attacked” him. If security guards were actually present, the odds tell us that Taner Akcam would have had the police called in, and slapped an assault charge on these attackers. Think of the propaganda value he and his industry could have milked: poor, innocent human rights champion in line to follow Hrant Dink’s fate by mindless, fascistic, nationalistic Turks.

Akcam next boo-hoos about the harassment he faced over a December 4, 2006 meeting at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. A letter was sent in the name of several Turkish organizations, including the Turkish Forum, urging the cancellation of the event, and Akcam was labeled as “a propagandistic tool of the Armenians.”

Is Akcam “a propagandistic tool of the Armenians”?

The facts:

After his life was threatened in the early 1980s by his fellow terrorists, he washed his hands of the bloody business, and had to do something. Working as a janitor in Hamburg wasn’t cutting it.
Akcam's mentor: Vahakn N. Dadrian.

Vahakn Dadrian became aware of this Turk who appeared to have been allergic to all things Turkish, through the "Armenian" articles Akcam began to write in the early 1990s. along with the attention he received from his 1992 book. (The story goes, according to his biography accompanying his March 14, 2007 Harvard University talk, that "In 1988, Akcam began work as a research scientist at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. While researching the late Ottoman Empire and early Republic, especially the history of political violence and torture in Turkey, he became interested in the Armenian Genocide.") What a great opportunity to groom and bankroll a “Turkish scholar” who accepted Armenian propagandistic views without criticism; as Ocalan put it, Akcam is "open for manipulation," and with "loyalty... unknown," meaning that Akcam is basically for sale. To the Armenians, Taner Akcam would be worth his weight in gold. Surely once other opportunist Turks perceived Akcam’s career enrichment, some would be sure to follow that pot of gold, as well.

Vahakn Dadrian took Taner Akcam under his wing; they even appeared together in a 1997 Dutch film, "The Wall of Silence." He almost surely translated Akcam’s first monsterpiece, “The Genocide of the Armenians and the Silence of the Turks,” the one that featured the word “genocide” an unbelievable sixty-four times. Little must Dadrian have realized that his protégé would copy Dadrian’s hateful research so meticulously.

Vahakn Dadrian served as one of the two evaluators of Taner Akcam’s July 10, 1996-dated doctorate thesis, entitled, "The Turkish National Movement and the Armenian Genocide Against the Background of the Military Tribunals in Istanbul Between 1919 and 1922." (1922??) The other “Advisor” was Prof. Dr. Peter Gleichmann; both of these fellows, along with the Zoryan Institute, have been profusely thanked in Akcam’s “Shameful” book.

(Gleichmann is a sociology professor from the University of Hannover, where Akcam received his degree; he co-wrote the book, with Thomas Kühne, "Mass killings. Wars and Genocides in the Twentieth Century." He also is a "global supporter" of "Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies: Breaking the Cycle of Humiliation." What about the humiliation of being falsely accused of a crime, particularly the greatest crime against humanity? The man is yet another hypocritical and prejudiced "genocide scholar" who values one people over another.)

Is Taner Akcam’s degree valid?

According to German academic rules, it appears a professor who evaluates and finally approves a doctorate must be affiliated with a university. The last year Vahakn Dadrian taught at a university was 1990, when he faced a scandal and was fired months afterwards, losing his tenured position. As a result, Dadrian had to go slumming in the Zoryan Institute. Could Professor Dadrian’s credentials have been accepted in good faith, when he served as Akcam’s guarantor in 1996? (That is, where scrupulously clean people like Dadrian and Akcam are concerned, it’s not as though any hijinks would have ensued... right?)

A preliminary investigation regarding the dissertation requirements for Akcam's University of Hannover (for the Natural Sciences department, and not Sociology; but the standards should be the same) is that the professor doing the evaluating must be chosen from the university's faculty. In special situations, Hannover U. professors may be selected three years after departure or retirement; and professor(s) from outside universities may also be chosen, and that they will have the same rights as the others and named as "referral instance." Paragraph (3) is the key: "If the dissertation was proposed and supervised by someone who does not belong to any university, he/she can be called to deliver his/her expert opinion in a statement." The question yet to be determined is whether this person, who would have the right to coach the student, would have the right to approve the dissertation. (At this point, we don't know exactly the extent of the role Dadrian played in Akcam's dissertation approval process, other than his being listed as "co-advisor," implying that he had equal weight to Gleichmann. On the surface, it appears Dadrian did more than simply provide his "expert opinion" in a statement, presumably for use by the official evaluators.)

Even if Dadrian's participation turns out to be "legal," Akcam has another can of worms to deal with. Dadrian is not your ordinary Hai Tahd'er, but a Godzilla among Armenian propaganda activists. If Dadrian "proposed and supervised" this dissertation, Akcam has a lot of explaining to do.

More definitely, according to German academic rules, a doctorate does not qualify someone as a professor. Dr. Taner Akcam, could not be called a “professor,” according to the rules of the nation where he earned his Ph.D degree. Assuming that he actually “earned” his degree (beyond the technical qualifications, how much of it was his original research? If a copy of his thesis can be drummed up, it would be interesting to take a look and see how much was “borrowed” from Dadrian’s work), and assuming that his degree is actually valid.

It appears that aside from working in a research center in Hamburg, our undistinguished “prisoner of conscience” was never hired to teach in a university’s faculty. The sociologist’s only specialty was the “Armenian genocide.” It is not like universities would go begging for that kind of “expertise.”

So here was Taner Akcam, apparently with no teaching experience, and apparently with no university affiliation, and what happens? Dr. Dennis Papazian, perhaps working in conjunction with other Armenian genocide joint chiefs of staff, recruits his University of Michigan colleague, “Turkish scholar” Fatma Muge Gocek, to “host” Taner Akcam, for a stint as a “visiting scholar.” That is only the cover story, mind you; it would look much better for a “Turk” to be supporting a “Turk,” than to have an Armenian recruiting the Turk. Otherwise, Akcam might run the risk of appearing as “a propagandistic tool of the Armenians.” But Dr. Papazian ‘fesses up, and reveals he was the real force behind the bringing in of Taner Akcam, along with the now somewhat disgraced Hilmar Kaiser. (The link again.)

Stephen Feinstein; his scholarship has been criticized by what appeared at first to be a "Holocaust Denial" site, but a cursory look shows it is not. The "isurvived.org" editor is simply taking issue with Feinstein's interpretations. While it will take time to see what this site is getting at, we felt solidarity with this statement: "In Dr. Feinstein's world, questioning, criticizing and/or scrutinizing the merits of his academic courses and standards is a no-no proposition as the tranquility and the comfort of his academic settings created is being disturbed and that cannot be tolerated..."

Taner Akcam gets a job at Michigan’s university, as a “visiting scholar.” Now, why would a legitimate university foot the bill for the employment of such a non-scholar as Taner Akcam? it wouldn’t; that is why the salary of “a propagandistic tool of the Armenians” would need to at least be supplemented by an Armenian foundation. A visiting scholar needs a home university to be visiting from, and can only visit for a certain period of time, usually no more than three years. The local Turkish-American community in Michigan gets wind of these rules, brings up the discrepancies, Akcam gets booted out, and finds a new home in that other Armenian “genocide” hotbed, the University of Minnesota, in 2002. Perhaps Dr. Stephen Feinstein used his influence, and the university’s rules were revised to accommodate Akcam, so Akcam could not as easily get kicked out. Who knows? But there must be some reason why this perpetually “visiting scholar” has already overstayed his welcome.

If you held that last thought from a few paragraphs back, Akcam had written his “employer” was the University of Minnesota. Perhaps it's true; that sort of thing can only be known for certain between Akcam and whomever is forking over the cash for him to make his living. However, it’s now known that an Armenian foundation, Cafesjian, was and very likely still is at least supplementing Akcam’s income, if not ponying up the lion’s share. Maybe the whole kit and caboodle. As we have learned from PBS’s “The Armenian Genocide” propaganda show, there is no shortage of Armenian foundations. If not Cafesjian, another would be sure to step in line. After all, few Armenian tools serve their cause, or Hai Tahd, more effectively than "Turkish scholar" Taner Akcam.

“Visiting scholar” does not sound impressive, and just as Antranik mysteriously wound up with the title of “General,” someone decided to call Taner Akcam a “visiting professor.” Now how did a scholar suddenly become a professor, as though by magic? Particularly if the nation where he received his degree would not recognize him as a professor?

When Taner Akcam goes around on his speaking engagements, the bill is footed by Armenian organizations. It is the least they could do for such a valuable golden boy of Armenian propaganda. The copyright for his “Shameful” book is reportedly owned by the Zoryan Institute. What greater proof does one need that Akcam is as propagandistic a tool for Armenian genocide propaganda as propagandistic tools can possibly be?

Yet Taner Akcam will feign outrage when he has been called for exactly what he is.

Taner Akcam next touched upon his concerns regarding signs of those darned Turks’ mobilization efforts against the planned bash at Yeshiva’s Cardozo:

I forwarded this information to the event organizers with a request that appropriate precautions be taken. I let them know that if they were going to allow intruders from Turkish Forum to leaflet my presentation and disrupt the symposium, I wasn’t going to participate. Yeshiva was concerned.

Why should they have been so concerned? Could it be because their conference was beholden to the Armenians? Note the bottom portion (below) of the second page of their program for “Denying Genocide,” organized by Cardozo’s “Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies”; after they repeated the word “denial” almost as many times as Taner Akcam once uncontrollably repeated “genocide,” they wrote:

“We are thankful for the generous support from the Zoryan Institute. We thank the Armenian Bar Association and the Center for Global Affairs, NYU for their assistance.”

It’s the same old story. Now practically every university has a hatred-spreading genocide division, and invariably, they are propped up by wealthy Armenians. (As is Akcam’s home base, Stephen Fenstein’s CHGS; once and probably still primarily supported by the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair in the College of Liberal Arts.) The reason why wealthy Armenians provide such “generous support” is obvious: these talks serve as avenues to push vicious Armenian propaganda.

As a pre-emptive step, the event committee informed the Turkish Consulate that the law school symposium was intended to be general in scope, comparative and scholarly in approach, and not focused on either Taner Akçam or Turkey.

Belinda Cooper; the lawyer and feminist teamed up with her idol to co-write "Turks, Armenians, and the "G-Word"; As an international law specialist, has she read this?

It may not have focused on Akcam, since Akcam was only one of the speakers. But you can bet “Turkey” was a favorite topic; among the speakers, we had Armenian friends Roger Smith, Gregory Stanton, Henry Theriault, Helen Fein, Sévane Garibian, Deborah Lipstadt, and Akcam’s New York Times fan Belinda Cooper, who also serves as “Adjunct Professor, [NYU] Center for Global Affairs”... the usual suspects of the agenda-ridden genocide club, whose preferred propaganda leaves little in the way of “scholarly... approach.” And let’s see how many times the various genocides were serviced in the descriptive portion (p. 2) of this event’s program: We start off with the “Armenian genocide” (where we are told a million had all been subjected to “murder”), for a total of three mentions, same as the Holocaust. Bosnia: 1; Rwanda: 1. We don't have to wonder very hard about the attention that “Turkey”/Armenia received.

They made it clear that any disruption similar to the CUNY incident would not put Turkey in a favorable light. A Turkish consular official disavowed any government involvement in the disruption at CUNY, which he attributed to “the actions of civilians” in grassroots organizations. There was nothing the Consulate could do about them, he said. The organizers stressed that they intended to take extra security precautions and that the Consulate ought to think hard about what would happen if the symposium was invaded and its participants attacked.

Barring our Shameful Liar's conflicting claims, I know of no conference held by the genocide club — not even the late 2005 one held in Turkey, at Bilgi University (which I understand Akcam also joined) — where a participant had ever been "attacked."

A Swiss man was in the news recently for spoiling a portrait of Thailand’s president, an offense serious enough in that nation to get the poor fellow carted off to jail for years. Should we hold the Swiss Consulate in Thailand responsible for this man’s actions? Perhaps the entire nation of Switzerland? Surely the Swiss man’s “crime” could not have put Switzerland in a favorable light.

Could the nonsense Akcam is trying to pass off be any more ridiculous? Of COURSE the Turkish Consulate could not possibly have any control over what Turkish individuals choose to do. And look at the inanity Akcam is springing upon us; the Cardozo conference was open to the public, and if Turkish-Americans decided to attend, why would that be a case of “invasion”? (Evidently, Akcam was painting a picture of fearsome Turkish hordes, since he made sure to add that these barbarians would be at the ready to attack.)

Just one day before the symposium there was another phone conversation between the Turkish consular official and the organizers. He assured them that no disruption would take place and only two or three Turkish representatives would attend. The government kept its word.

We can see what Taner Akcam was getting at, here. “The Turkish government” is always able to control its mindless drones, just as Armenian propagandists would have us believe. Every Turkish historian is an agent of the Turkish government, and every Turkish organization that gives scholars grants is a tool of the Turkish government (allowing Israel Charny, for example, to tell us any recipient of a Turkish grant is beholden to the Turkish government). All the “government” needs to do is snap its fingers, and then all “nationalist” Turks, whom everyone knows are without capacity for individual thought, will fall in line instantly. Unbelievable.

Nevertheless, my American book tour continues under tightened security. Although it is stressful and very sad to have to lecture under police protection, I have no intention of canceling any of my domestic appearances. After all, the United States is not the Republic of Turkey. The Turkish authorities whether directly or through their grassroots agents have no right to harass scholars exercising their academic freedom of speech at American universities. Throughout my life I have learned in unforgettable ways the worth of such freedom, and I intend to use it at every opportunity.

Kind of brings a tear to the eye, doesn’t it? Taner Akcam, hero for freedom, newfound disciple of the now-utopian United States, battling the oppressive forces of Turkey, the nation he loves to hate. It’s strange; for such a proponent of “freedom of speech,” not once have I encountered this hero’s outrage over the familiar efforts of France, Austria and Switzerland to censor thought.

Perhaps the "village idiot" is unaware that freedom of speech cuts both ways. Just as he is free to spread his vicious lies and propaganda, so can those who disapprove try and remind the world of the truths Akcam is attempting to corrupt. Since pro-Armenian propagandists thrive on monologue and abhor dialogue, naturally, Taner Akcam is going to make it seem as though his opposition is being controlled by a singular, diabolical entity. The reality is, if Turks had that kind of unison and collective power, Taner Akcam would have never been able to get to where he is today.

© Holdwater
 © www.tallarmeniantale.com The source site of this article gets revised often, as better information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows:


Re: About a shameful liar Taner akcam and www.tallarmeniantale.com/akcam-Liar.htm

Dear All,

It is no secret that the ex-convict, terrorist, communist, anarchist, active-columnist, slanderer Taner Akcam, thanks to the organization of his benefactors, continues to stay in the headlines, by his last book “A Shameful Act” and the propagandist publications, and his creating new myths to degrade Turkish Government, Turks and any group that would stand in his way. Unfortunately, apart from AGOS where he writes weekly, “Radikal” also gives support, by twisting facts and raising clouds. All these happen so fast and so well organized, that most of us, Turks are unable to follow these and of course are unprepared to defend the bare truths, which are distorted or reverted.

Thanks again to our pro-truth friend Holdwater, for coming up with this very new TAT bulletin explaining all the trickery behind “alleged Professor title”, as well as the dirty clothes at all stages of the episode. I read TAT bulletins, and this new one is very valuable for those who follow the developments, including consular staff.

As attachment, subject bulletin takes 13 pages of print, which is much worth while, to pull down the mask of this turncoat. You can also read it, the way it is presented by HW. This message is intended to serve as a reminder, with thanks to Holdwater and hope that at least some sections of this important document can be conveyed to readers of TF or Armenians-1915 or other blogspots. Regretfully, we the decent people, are paralyzed against these vicious attacks, out of our interpretation of ethics. Holdwater quotes a sentence of Cyrus Hamlin, founder of Robert College, a reputed Armenophile: Falsehood is, of course justifiable where murder and arson are.


Sukru S. Aya


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